About The Kenyanist
In each episode, Kamau Wairuri speaks to an expert who will help us understand a particular social or political issue better and hopefully propose how we can address some of our most pressing challenges as a society.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the guests on the show are not necessarily those of the host.
For many Kenyans, being part of an ethnic group is an important mark of their identity. It symbolizes belonging, and access to resources. The question of which ethnic groups belong in Kenya is another part of this salient debate. Ethnicity is often used as a means of mobilizing for state resources especially around elections. The question of which ethnic groups belong in Kenya therefore elicits sensitive emotions as some groups have in the past been denied citizenship on the basis of their ethnicity. Moreover, when the question of how many tribes are in Kenya is posed, the number ranges depending on who answers this question. 42, 43, 44+ are figures often thrown around. It is however important to note that there is no official list of these ethnic groups, despite the recognition of ethnicity in the constitution for cultural identity, regional balance in state appointments, and fair distribution of state resources to avoid marginalization. Dr. Samantha Balaton-Chrimes, who is our guest for this episode of the Kenyanist, has researched the issue of ethnicity and identity politics. She shared with us her thoughts on why she thinks ethnicity has been politicized in Kenya. We also interrogate the impact of ethnic recognition by the state and why ethnicity is often weaponized by those in power. You can read more of Sam’s work on this topic by following this link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17531055.2020.1863642
Kenya is renowned for producing world star athletes such as Eliud Kipchoge, a marathon legend, Faith Kipyegon, a top middle-distance runner, and the promising sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala. These among other athletes have consistently brought honor to Kenya with their stellar performances. Despite their success, the State of Athletics in Kenya is characterized by a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, the country continues to produce superstar athletes who excel on the global stage. On the other hand, Kenya has been struggling at the team level in international competitions. A glaring example of this was seen in the 2022 Olympics, where Kenya managed to win 10 medals and found themselves in the 4th position, behind countries like the United States, Ethiopia, and Jamaica. One common issue faced by Kenyan athletes is the lack of comprehensive support and investment in their training and development compared to some of the other countries they compete with. There has also been recent challenges, including scandals like the controversy surrounding the Olympics, allegations of fake uniforms being issued to Kenyan teams and doping claims. Such incidents not only tarnish Kenya’s reputation but also hinder the athletes’ morale and their performance. The lack of adequate support has driven some athletes to opt to run for other countries, especially those in the Gulf region, where they may receive better incentives and resources. This loss of talent is detrimental to Kenya's sports development and international competitiveness. In light of these challenges, there is a growing recognition of the need to go beyond merely producing individual superstars and to consider broader investments in sports infrastructure, training facilities, and athlete development programs. By addressing these issues and providing better support for athletes, Kenya can aim to not only maintain its position as the home of superstars but also improve its performance at the team level in international competitions. We speak to Louis Kimanzi, Sports Manager and Researcher based in the UK who has experience in Sports Management in Kenya with a focus on Athletics Management. Learn more about doping in athletics by visiting the following link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ej5k_SxUs&ab_channel=UnreportedWorld
In this episode, Dr. Ken Opalo, a Georgetown University Professor provides a comprehensive analysis of Kenya's cost-of-living crisis. We unpack the underlying factors, assess government responses, and examine potential outcomes of current economic policies aimed at easing the cost of living. On the political front, blame games persist, with the opposition (Azimio) pointing fingers at the government. The Kenya Kwanza government on the other hand blames the global economic environment and the previous regime. We also delve into Kenya Kwanza's fiscal policies, which prioritize a populist agenda under the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation (BETA). These policies include the introduction of a Housing Levy and changes to income tax and VAT. In agriculture, the focus is on subsidizing production rather than consumption, with reductions in the cost of fertilizers and importation of edible oils and food commodities. Protests against some of these policies and increased taxation have persisted since the introduction of the Finance Bill. So, what is the way forward? Our guest underscores the need for effective governance and prudent economic policies to address the cost-of-living crisis and its associated challenges. You can read more about Dr. Ken Opalo's work by visiting the following link: https://kenopalo.substack.com/p/understanding-the-economic-foundations
Kenya's political history is marked by protests. We can trace the history of protests to colonial times. In this episode, we are joined by Dr Westen Shihalo, a senior researcher from the University of Johannesburg, to examine the history of protests in Kenya from the colonial era to the present day. We examine how the protests against taxation and racial discrimination in colonial times paved way for the agitation for inclusion, democracy and justice in the post-colonial era. Despite some of the gains that have emanated from sustained political protests, including a new constitution, the legitimacy of protests (maandamano) in Kenya remains contested. While some people see them as a legitimate avenue of raising their grievances, others see them as disruptive and unnecessary. You can read more about Dr. Shihalo's work on the long and rich history of mass protests in Kenya by visiting the following link: https://theconversation.com/mass-protests-in-kenya-have-a-long-and-rich-history-but-have-been-hijacked-by-the-elites-202979 The Kenyanist is hosted by Kamau Wairuri, who is also the executive producer. This episode was produced by Mark Kivuva and edited by Hope Nabalayo. Our researcher and publicist is David Muruaru while Mark Njeru manages our social media. Steve Molikande is our administrator.
Domestic work in Kenya, as well as in other parts of the world, is frequently characterized by low wages and a lack of recognition. Nevertheless, domestic workers have consistently proven to be indispensable to our daily lives. They maintain our households, ensure cleanliness, prepare our meals, and care for our children; essentially being responsible for our well-being. Despite their significant contribution to the economy and our overall welfare, domestic workers in Kenya face some of the most challenging working conditions. While the focus has rightfully been on the dire situations of Kenyan workers in the Middle East, it is equally important to address the issues occurring within our own homes. We must therefore discuss how domestic workers endure low pay, are often excluded from union membership, and may even lack proper documentation, making them vulnerable to mistreatment by their employers. They are also denied common employment benefits such as paid leave, health insurance, and pensions, further exacerbating their precarious situation. In this episode of The Kenyanist, Kamau Wairuri is joined by Mumbi Kanyogo, a Kenyan feminist scholar, to discusses the pursuit of dignified domestic work in Kenya. The episode sheds light on the challenges faced by domestic workers in Kenya and their fight for better conditions. Mumbi also highlights the historical context of domestic work, its connection to colonialism, and the exploitation that persists today. The episode also explores the efforts of domestic workers to organize and resist, including their involvement with the National Domestic Workers Council and the Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels Educational Institutions Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA). Please leave a comment to let us know what you think of the episode and rate us wherever you get your podcasts. www.thekenyanist.com Sources: Mumbi Kanyogo (Nov 7, 2022). ‘Sisi Pia ni Watu’: In Kenya, Domestic Workers Resist Exploitation. The Republic.
The world is re-emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are only now beginning to understand the full impact of the crisis. In Kenya, we need to take this opportunity to reflect on how we can better prepare for future pandemics. At the same time, we need to reconsider culture’s role in helping us cope with and make sense of difficult events in our lives. One of the most powerful ways that culture can help us to process difficult experiences is through music. During the pandemic, we saw the government use music to communicate public health messages. We also saw artists use music to explore the emotional, social political, and economic impacts of the crisis. Without a doubt, we know that music can help us to feel less alone, and it can give us a sense of hope. It can also help us to process our grief and anger. In a time of crisis, music can be a lifeline. It is for these reasons that the arts are essential to our well-being, and they can help us to build a stronger and more resilient society. In this episode of The Kenyanist, we were joined by Felix Mutunga, to discuss his recent research on the role of Hip-Hop in reframing narratives of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya's urban margins. In a conversation with our host Kamau Wairuri, Felix explores the impact of the pandemic on the lives of people in these areas and how Hip-Hop music is used to amplify social and political issues in Kenya. Sources cited: Ndaka, Felix Mutunga. "Lyrical Renegades: Reframing Narratives of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenyan Urban Margins Through Hip-Hop." Journal of African Cultural Studies 35.1 (2023): 89-103. Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "□ Can the Subaltern Speak?." Colonial discourse and post-colonial theory. Routledge, 2015. 66-111.
Kenya’s food culture is dynamic and evolving, based on both local and foreign influences. On the local front, we know that different cultural groups in Kenya have their own foods and unique ways of preparing them. This diversity also makes it difficult for us to talk about a Kenyan cuisine in the same way that we might talk about Ethiopian, Nigerian, or Indian cuisine. As some arguments go, we can trace the state of our food culture to colonization. Some people argue that colonialism limited or popularized some foods including maize and legumes which diminished local cuisines. This is said to have had some serious effects including malnutrition, poor feeding, and poor health. Others have said that it has contributed to droughts. However, Kenya’s coastal region has continued to distinguish itself through its cuisine, as a result of which it has become and remained a popular food destination. In this episode Kamau Wairuri speaks to Mariah Sudi, a social scientist based both in Nairobi and Malindi, to gain a deeper understanding of the food culture in Kenya’s coastal region. They discuss the history of Kenyan foods including the role colonialism played in shaping them, the confluence of cultures at the coast and their impact on the coastal cuisine as well as the gender dynamics that shape how food is prepared, served and consumed in the region. The episode is based on Maria’s article on the same topic published by The Elephant. Please leave a comment to let us know what you think of the episode and rate us wherever you get your podcasts. Sources Cited: Mariah Sudi. (2022, Sep 20). Food Culture at the Kenyan Coast. The Elephant. McCann, J.C. (2009). Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine. Athens: Ohio University Press. Anthony Wekesa Pepela.(2014). Positioning the gastronomic identity of Kenya’s coastal strip: Perspectives of guests on the region’s signature foods using an integrated approach. PhD Thesis. Kenyatta University.
In this episode, we seek to understand the political economy of street vending in Kenya, by speaking to Nathan Kariuki, a PhD student at the Centre for African Studies, in Bordeaux, France whose PhD project examines street vending in Kenya. What is described as the informal economy or jua kali, has been noted to be a significant portion of Kenya’s economy. For instance, it is widely acknowledged that about 84% of Kenya’s workforce is engaged in the informal economy. It is acknowledged that the distribution of people’s participation in the formal vs informal sector is highly gendered. Hence, about 93% of women-owned businesses are in the informal sector. The most visible element of this segment of the economy is street-level trading or vending, a common feature in most of our urban areas. Typically, street vendors - who we often refer to as hawkers -- are self-employed, they may be stationary or mobile and are mostly found along busy streets, sidewalks, pavements, and at bus stops where there are high volumes of people. Some of those involved in informal trade operate in temporary structures or enclosed spaces, such as markets that are often provided by local governments. While some operate throughout the day or night, others may have specific hours of operation, such as during the evening rush hour. Despite their useful contribution to the economy, contributing to the GDP and employment of many Kenyans, the informal economy is often seen negatively. The people involved in this segment of the economy are seen as a nuisance. We often hear, from government officials no less, that they “increase insecurity along streets, crowding streets, failure to pay for licences, and making the streets dirty.” Thus, policymakers and the well-to-do in society see them as a problem to be solved. However, we see a change of tune during political seasons. While campaigning for office, politicians will often embrace street vendors, promising to make their conditions more favourable. These promises, like many others, are often forgotten when they get elected.
In The Kenyanist today, we are joined by John Kinuthia, a Senior Program Officer at the International Budget Partnership who has recently, together with his colleagues, published a study on the transparency and accountability of the NHIF. Health financing is a big deal. It has been part of global, regional and national political conversations. It is known that the developed countries in the world spend more money on healthcare, as a proportion of the GDP, compared with developing countries. For instance, it is known that countries in Africa spend about 6%t of their GDP on health, which is less than the 9.5% of GDP that the countries of the OECD spend on healthcare systems. Of course, there are important differences between countries. In Kenya, healthcare is now largely decentralised, with many responsibilities being transferred to the county government after the 2010 constitution came into effect. We have also seen some growth in the amount of money being spent on healthcare. For instance, in 2020, the allocation of government expenditure on health stood at 6.2% compared to 4.55% of GDP in 2016. There are many aspects of the political economy of healthcare that we can talk about and indeed will look forward to talking about here on The Kenyanist as we seek a broader and deeper understanding of this really important part of our shared lives as Kenyans. In this episode, however, we will focus on the National Health Insurance Fund or NHIF, the state corporation at the centre of our national conversations on healthcare financing. We hope you enjoy the show and find the discussion illuminating. As always, if you have any questions, comments or guest and topic recommendations, please reach us at www.thekenyanist.com or on our social media handles using the handle @TheKenyanist.
In this episode of The Kenyanist, we aim to broaden and deepen our understanding of the lost Kenyan artefacts, by talking to the incredible Jim Chuchu, a Kenyan artist who has been in the lead of efforts to identify and document Kenya’s cultural items that are held outside Kenya. Jim has been part of the International Inventories Programme (IIP), an international research and database project that investigates Kenyan artefacts that are held in museums outside Kenya. In recent years, there have been growing calls by African governments, cultural analysts and activists and their allies for the return of African artefacts in Museums abroad, especially in Europe. The presence of these artefacts in these countries is a direct legacy of colonialism. In many cases, these items were stolen by the colonisers. Now Africans are calling to have their items back. For a while, the conversation has been dominated by calls for the return of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. The Benin Bronzes are a group of several thousand metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, in what is now Edo State, Nigeria. The Benin artworks were forcibly removed in 1897, in a large-scale British military expedition. British forces attacked and occupied the city of Benin, in what is now modern-day Nigeria. The campaign is bearing fruit as we have seen some UK museums signing over their collections of these items to Nigeria. However, this conversation is broader than that. Most importantly, for our purposes here, there is a Kenyan conversation as well. Our colonisers also looted many Kenyan cultural items. For instance, there have been some claims of items belonging to the Maasai that are currently held at the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. Yet, many of us Kenyans are unaware of these conversations, how much of our cultural items are scattered around the world, and who is claiming ownership of them. As always, if you have any questions, comments or guest and topic recommendations, please reach us at www.thekenyanist.com or on our social media handles using the handle @TheKenyanist
In the first episode of The Kenyanist’s second season, Kamau Wairuri speaks to Dr Beatrice Akala, an educationist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, on the country’s transition for the 8-4-4 system to the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC). The discussion seeks to cut through the cacophony of voices that have marked the public discourse on CBC and get a fair and balanced view on the purpose of this shift in curriculum, whether it is justified and what we can expect the outcomes to be. As such, Kamau and Dr Akala examine the history of curriculum reform in Kenya, examining how each change has been justified, what the success of implementation has been and the consequences that have emanated from these changes. They also look at the experience of other African countries with curriculum changes, especially the CBC approach, and how they have done it, noting the lessons we can learn from them. We hope you enjoy the show and find the discussion illuminating. As always, if you have any questions, comments or guest and topic recommendations, please reach us at www.thekenyanist.com or on our social media handles using the handle @TheKenyanist.
For this International Podcast Day special episode, our new producer Tevin Sudi has a conversation with our executive director and host, Kamau Wairuri, for our listeners to get to know him a little bit better. We talk about his background, why he started the Kenyanist, some of his favourite episodes, season 2, and much more. He even tells us if we’ll ever see his name on the ballot one day. You can follow us on all social media platforms @thekenyanist and you can listen to all our episodes on www.podpage.com or anywhere you get your podcasts.
This episode explores the legal, social, and political dimensions of forced evictions in Kenya with Pauline Vata. She is a seasoned human rights lawyer with expertise in land, housing, and natural resource governance issues, positively influencing public policy in formulating laws that safeguard rights to housing and land. The discussion starts with the legal instruments that the government can rely on to understand the procedures they should follow when carrying out evictions, they then proceed to discuss one of the most significant court cases that has emerged from the forced evictions, the Mitu-Bell case, in which the residents of informal settlements known as Mitumba village next to Wilson Airport were uprooted from their habitation by the government, on grounds that their settlements lay on the flight path to Wilson Airport, thus posing danger to the security of the public and air travelers by depositing unregulated garbage that would then attract birds which could bring down aircrafts. They also look at the task force formed to come up with laws to protect people living in informal settlements, some of the solutions to forced evictions, and why even after the Mitu-Bell case, we still have some evictions that don't follow the legal requirements. This episode was produced by Kamau Wairuri. Sound editing by Hope Nabalayo and the cover art designed by Mutugi Njeru. You can follow us on all social media platforms @thekenyanist and you can listen to all our episodes on www.podpage.com or anywhere you get your podcasts. Articles by Pauline Vata: Pauline Vata, Mitu-Bell Case Has Restored Much Needed Faith in the Judiciary, THE STANDARD (Jan. 26, 2021) Hakijamii Executive Director Ms. Pauline Vata sheds light on the World Habitat Day Young woman’s quest for land justice among the marginalized - The Nation
In this episode of The Kenyanist, Sylvanus Wekesa hosts Nicodemus Minde who is a lecturer of International Relations at the United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi, Kenya. The discussion is focused on the rising concern in Kenya’s August 2022 elections in regards to the economic security and political considerations in the East African region; with stiff competition between the two leading candidates, namely the government backed opposition leader Raila Odinga and the current deputy president, William Ruto. Dr Minde gives a brief overview of the current East African Community (EAC) scene, with the recent admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a member country; now the EAC being made up of DRC itself, together with South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the original founder countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The question answered here is the consequence of the DRC joining the community in terms of the benefits it has and the overall effects its admission has to the rest of the region. The discussion steers towards the current democratic states of each country within the EAC and how the election results would affect the same, appreciating the fact that Kenya serves as a model country to the rest in terms of its democratic, political and even social advancements. With the other member countries being directly tied to Kenya’s all-round status, the question of how their relations would change in the case of either leading presidential candidate winning the seat emerges, and Dr Minde gives an overview of what to foresee in either case, noting that there would be either positive or negative ramifications in shaping the regional integration of the future of the EAC, depending on the election outcome. The region having seen emerging trends of alliances, the discussion delves into the possibility of leaders fulfilling the original EAC agenda of being a people-driven organisation, rather than being elite-dominated. This further goes into the general understanding of the role the EAC is expected to perform among the new generation of leaders and how political parties and aspirants would align their manifestos to achieve the same. However, this is challenged by the key political agendas being driven by both candidates, Ruto and Odinga, being more inward in their approaches, of which leads to the discussion of the radical shift in the status quo in terms of both regional and international politics in the case of either candidate winning, which finalises the episode.
In this episode, Kamau Wairuri hosts Eugene Ngumi, a public affairs consultant based in Nairobi, to discuss the politics of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya. They trace the origins of the SGR, going back to the building of the old meter-gauge railway by the colonial government, it’s virtual collapse in the 1990s and the attempts to revive it in the early 2000s. After a concession attempt failed, the SGR was conceptualised during the Kibaki-era under the Vision 2030. They then proceed to discuss the building of the Railway by the Jubilee government, noting the congruence of internal and external factors in shaping the project. They explore the challenges that the project has faced including the withdrawal of funding by the Chinese as well as question about the procurement process and its viability. They conclude the discussion with an exploration of the impact this project will have on how future Kenyan governments approach development and whether the SGR may — rather painfully— end up being a massive white elephant.
Kamau Wairuri hosts Billian Okoth Ojiwa (@BillianOjiwa) to discuss his work as a community organiser in Kenya. Billian is the founder of the Billian Music Family, a community building organisations based in Mathare in Nairobi. Hosting a population of over 500,000 people, Mathare is one of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi. They discuss Billian’s childhood in Mathare, his early music career, and his eventual shift towards community organising work. We discuss the work his organisation has been doing to improve people’s lives in Mathare. They also discuss his efforts to engage in electoral politics and the price he has had to pay for this. For any comments, questions, as well as guest and topic recommendations, please reach out to the host on email: Kamau.email@example.com
Show notes In this episode, Kamau Wairuri hosts Ken Opalo to discuss the financing of development at the grassroots in Kenya. Ken is an Assistant Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University at Washington DC (USA). See Ken’s Profile here. They discuss the nature and impact of the Harambee System in the post-colonial period in Kenya. The opposition of parliamentarians to Harambee, which became very expensive for them, led the MPs in the 9th parliament to establish the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), through which 2.5% of the national budget would be allocated to the constituencies to finance development projects. They discuss how this fund is operating and what it tells us about how politics work in Kenya. For any comments, questions, as well as guest and topic recommendations, please reach out to the host on email: Kamau.firstname.lastname@example.org Sources: The discussion is based on Ken Opalo’s paper in the World Development, which can be accessed here (paywall): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X21004095 An earlier version of the paper (Working Paper) is freely available here: https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/Publications/Working-paper/PDF/wp2021-147-formalizing-clientelism-Kenya-Harambee-CDF.pdf
Kamau Wairuri hosts Sylvanus Wekesa to discuss Kenya's Foreign Policy during the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta (2013 - to date). We have a wide ranging conversation ranging on the impact of President Kenyatta as Kenya's foremost diplomat. We discuss the anti-ICC politics as well as the mixed results of Kenya's foreign efforts including the pursuit of the Chairperson's position in the African Union (AU), leadership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat. We also note the regional politics -- East African Community (EAC) and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Sylvanus Wekesa is a Research Associate and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Leadership Studies with reference to Security and Development at King’s College London. Our discussion is based on a blog article in his blog Africanist view (https://www.africanistview.com/). Sources: Does the lack of candidates in the upcoming AU elections signal the waning interest by Kenya in continental affairs?
In this episode, Kamau Wairuri talks to Tom Mboya, a governance consultant, on the cost of politics in Kenya. Our discussion is based on the findings of a study that Tom conducted with Prof Karuti Kanyinga on the topic. The study is a part of a global study. The findings can be found on https://www.costofpolitics.net/ Tom and I discussed how much candidates spend in their election campaigns and why this cost varies by party, region and gender of the candidate. We also talked about the impact that the rising costs of election campaigns is having on Kenyan politics, including how it influences the kind of people who can offer themselves as candidates for election. References: Karuti Kanyinga & Tom Mboya. The cost of politics in Kenya Implications for political participation and development. (Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), London and Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), The Hague, July 2021).
In the first episode of The Kenyanist, Kamau Wairuri (host) talks to Melissa Wanjiru-Mwita, a lecturer in Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi. Melissa argues that street names reflect what those in power want us to remember or forget. In the first segment, we go back in time to trace the emergence of Nairobi City around the Railway Depot and how the streets were named. Noting that after Kenya became a Crown Colony in 1920, the British were more deliberate about naming the streets. One of the ways of claiming a space is to imprint a name on it. Melissa notes that the Africans were marginalised while some Asians got recognition. In the second segment, we trace the renaming of the streets in Nairobi in the post-colonial period. We note that many streets took the names of Kenya (such as Dedan Kimathi and Harry Thuku) and African nationalists (such as Albert Luthuli and Kwame Nkrumah). However, many of the freedom fighters, including the Kapenguria 6 who had been detained by the colonial government were not honoured in this way. We also note that many streets were named after people who had close ties to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, even where their contribution to the struggle for independence may not be commensurate with the honour. We examine the politics of naming a street after Tom Mboya, the charismatic politician who was assassinated in Nairobi in 1969, especially the refusal to rename Government Road after him. The street was then renamed 'Moi Avenue' after Daniel arap Moi took over as the second President of Kenya. In this section, we also discuss the gender dynamics of street naming noting how women heroes of the liberation movement such as Field Marshall Muthoni Nyanjiru are not recognised. In the third segment, we look at the contemporary period. We contrast the processes of renaming of streets in Nairobi after Prof Wangari Maathai and Wambui Kenyatta. We examine the more heated debates on the renaming of streets. We note that some renaming of street such as the renaming of Accra Road after Kenneth Matiba and Cross Street after Charles Rubia have been widely accepted. However, the renaming of a street after Fidel Odinga in Mombasa and Francis Atwoli in Nairobi have been met with resistance. Similarly, the failure of the County Government of Mombasa to rename the Mama Ngina Waterfront after Mekatilili wa Menza also raised some acrimony. the Melissa calls for a better legal framework to address the issues of street naming, including outlawing the naming of streets after a living person. She also calls for better recognition of women and go beyond politicians to also honour athletes and cultural icons. Mentioned: Melissa Wanjiru-Mwita. Nairobi’s street names reveal what those in power want to remember, or forget. The Conversation. (July 30, 2020). (02.09.2021) Melissa Wanjiru. Street Toponymy and the Decolonisation of the Urban Landscape in Post-Colonial Nairobi, Journal of Cultural Geography, 34, 1 (2017), pp. 1-23.